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If You Can't Say Something Nice, Say Nothing At All

I think it's time to declare a moratorium on any and all coverage of Michelle Obama and her children. We need to pretend they don't exist.

Several weeks ago, Senator Obama (that would be Michelle's husband and the father of those kids in question) announced that, after a special report on some entertainment TV show, his kids would't be the subject of any more press coverage. And more recently, he challenged people who were "attacking" his wife, daring them to focus on him instead.

Well, that seems a reasonable request. He's the candidate, not them. We should leave them alone.

It's not easy, though. I was at the supermarket recently, and the cover story on People was "At Home With The Obamas." Featured were all four of them -- Barack, Michelle, and both girls.

Michelle Obama gave a campaign speech this week, in Chicago, trying to rally women in support of her husband.

I just read an account of that speech, and that is simply unacceptable. Senator Obama has declared that we can not criticize his wife, and that seems fair enough. He also doesn't want people talking about his kids. Again, a fair request.

But he's gotta meet us halfway. If he doesn't want them discussed, then they need to not seek out (or be thrust into) the limelight. He needs to stop sitting down and posing with them for People magazine, Michelle needs to stop making speeches, and she probably should stop giving interviews with MomLogic (whose vapid twits, Jennifer Gunderson and Rachel Fox, need to realize that I am NOT a mother and stop sending me their drivel).

I have a very firm policy about the relatives of politicians: I don't talk about them, discuss them, criticize them, or tolerate the same UNLESS and UNTIL they choose to make themselves part of the political process. And even then, I won't discuss them unless they are legal adults. Minor children are off limits. And as long as I have any authority here at Wizbang, that will be the official policy of the site.

But Senator Obama doesn't get to decide that we can only offer fawning coverage of his wife. If she wants to avoid political coverage, then she can very easily avoid the limelight. But if she wants to give speeches and talk about how great her husband is, then we can just as freely talk about how we disagree with her -- and critique what she says and does.

You're running for president, Senator, not Pope or Messiah or God-Emperor. President of a democracy, that holds great reverence for the right of free speech.

Deal with it.


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Comments (32)

...holds great reverence fo... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

...holds great reverence for free speech...

Stay tuned for changes...

I remember the Bush twins (... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I remember the Bush twins (horror) having a drink in a college bar in a college town. The media and some liberal loons here on this site said some very terrible things about the girls as if they should be rushed off to detox and "re-educated" in the virtues of sobriety. They were kids for heavans sake. Now the MSM and the lefty loons want to say Michelle is not to be discussed? Forget about it. She is red meat. ww

There have been rude things... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

There have been rude things said about Michelle Obama, and the people who are just looking to say vile things that have no basis should be denounced. However, Senator Obama has made no differentiation there. If he is calling criticism of her words "attacks" then he's much too thin-skinned to be running for president.

Cindy McCain has been particularly reviled by many and a good deal of it has been pretty cruel. The difference is that Cindy McCain has endured it gracefully and most of any campaigning she's done has largely consisted of introducing her husband at his appearances. She doesn't spend time bragging about the truly good things she's done and we'd hardly even know about any of it without the few members of the press willing to acknowledge it.

Another difference is the Obama's insistence on their private life remaining private even as they keep thrusting their family into the spotlight. You can't have it both ways. The McCain's private family life has remained pretty much private, which proves it can be so for the Obama's.

There has been much criticism I've heard of Michelle Obama for her words; not how she raises her kids, not her relationship with her husband, not about her family life. A lot of Obama's problem has been the press's fawning over their family. But if someone, wife or no wife, is going to stand in front of a crowd and make political pronouncements and campaign speeches, their words are fair game for scrutiny, criticism and discussion. If this is what he considers "attacks", he's just whining. Until he makes a distinction there, one can only wonder.

Oyster:That's exac... (Below threshold)

Oyster:

That's exactly how I feel about it; you put it into words better than I've been able to do. I try not to add, "me, too" comments, but I couldn't resist telling you how well you put it. Thank-you.

I guess the only thing I would add is if McCain makes the same mistake, then obviously he's fair game as well. I don't see that happening, however.

Hmm... If I delete Oyster's... (Below threshold)

Hmm... If I delete Oyster's commment, then paste it into my article, pretending it was my own, would I get away with it?

J.

Crud, I think I said that o... (Below threshold)

Crud, I think I said that out loud...

J.

MO is a shrill and she's ug... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

MO is a shrill and she's ugly. Her talk of forced labor scares me, but then BO said I should be afraid of him. I know their black because they keep saying so, but their really pinkos.

"they're black" not "their ... (Below threshold)
twolaneflash:

"they're black" not "their black"
sorry. rented fingers and still on first cup of coffee.

She's still ugly.

if you delete&paste oysters... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

if you delete&paste oysters comment J, I,ll never tell :)

She's ugly? You pref... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

She's ugly? You prefer the Laura Bush Stepford Botox look?

I know their black because they keep saying so, but their really pinkos.

I think it'll take more than a few cups of coffee to rinse the stooopidz out of your brain, friendo.

Twolaneflash, "ugly" is not... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Twolaneflash, "ugly" is not a fair criticism. It's much like the vapid remarks about Hillary's ankles. It's childish. If words like yours were not part of the commentary it would be quite clear "what Obama meant".

Jay and Tom, I'm flattered :)

Hyperbolist -Beaut... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hyperbolist -

Beauty is only skin-deep, ugly goes clear to the bone. I've been ripped off by attractive people who felt entitled to anything that came their way, whether it was earned or not. "Ugly" is a combination of a lot of factors for me - the external being of little importance.

As it is, judging by her remarks and comments and speeches, I agree with twolaneflash - she's pretty shrill and not attractive at all. She reminds me of a televangelist looking to get your money, trying to play on every emotion possible, but primarily trying to get you to take a long-distance guilt trip.

As far as color/race goes - If Obama were white and McCain 'black', I'd vote for McCain w/no hesitation. A few millimeters under the skin and we're all the same color. What's important is the ideas presented, and I just don't care for what Obama's trying to sell.

While I'm not condoning two... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

While I'm not condoning twolane's comment, Hyper, the Obama's meet the dictionary definition of "pinko" perfectly:

While I'm not condoning two... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

While I'm not condoning twolane's comment, Hyper, the Obama's meet the dictionary definition of "pinko" perfectly:

" a person who holds advanced liberal or moderately radical political or economic views"

So it makes me wonder which one of you is really "stoopidz". Actually, that's not true. I don't have to wonder at all...

If the Obama's are Black on... (Below threshold)
Matt:

If the Obama's are Black on the outside and Pink on the inside, what kind of fruit/food does it equate to?

Al Gore has Watermelon; black conservatives have Oreo's etc.

I'd go with burned steak, but that has no panache and I like steak.... Quite the conumdrum.

B Hussein Obama is not runn... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

B Hussein Obama is not running for president. He and the left wing anti-americans are attempting to make him another 'King Hussein' and he will be as dangerous as the Hussein who met a rope. Like it or not, that's a fact.

"...I will stand with them (Muslims) should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." B Hussein Obama,

page 261 of his book, Audacity of Hope...

If you just get used to the... (Below threshold)
Mark Bishop:

If you just get used to the double standard for African Americans and Mexicans these things won't bother you so much.

What double standard? They ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

What double standard? They get to make fun of white people for doing quintessentially white things but you don't get to make fun of them for their cultural habis? That upsets you? Boo hoo.

Hey Scrapiron, if a bunch of torch-wielding lunatics like you decided to lynch a Muslim following (e.g.) another terrorist attack, it would be despicable if Barack Obama refused to stand with them. Even without context, the sentence you cherry picked from his book is totally innocuous, except to a senile bigot like you.

"You're running for preside... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"You're running for president, Senator, not Pope or Messiah or God-Emperor. President of a democracy, that holds great reverence for the right of free speech."

Don't worry JT, if He wins, He'll fix that 'right of free speech' part.

*habits* -- duh... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

*habits* -- duh

Hyper, our rage control iss... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Hyper, our rage control issue Canadian. Can you comment without juvenile name calling? I don't think so. ww

What words would you use to... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

What words would you use to describe Scrapiron, WildWillie? Super-patriot? Ubermensch?

The guy has been playing the same tune for years, and I see no reason whatsoever to address him respectfully. We might be born equals, but we obviously don't die as such.

You'll have to forgive Hype... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

You'll have to forgive Hyper, he projects a lot. (See 6b)

Did you have to look up the... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Did you have to look up the word to make sure you were using it properly? Or were you assuming your audience wouldn't know what it meant?

That's cool, though. Nice of people to stick up for Scrapiron, I guess.

With all due respect, I don... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

With all due respect, I don't believe that either Cindy McCain or Michelle Obama should be off-limits for a number of reasons.

First, both of them are professional women, presumably with business contacts of their own and their own asset portfolios. At the very least, their business connections are worthy of scrutiny, as are their business holdings. Given their obvious connection to a future president, their conflicts of interest need to be explored or prevented.

And considering that we've seen a series of political spouses go into politics in their own right, I see no reason to exclude their campaign activities from consideration.

2) In the case of potential First Ladies, it's also worth recalling that the First Lady is the de facto ranking American social host. Anything she does will reflect on the United States, for better or for ill. So, yes, it's worth scrutinizing how Mrs. McCain and Mrs. Obama comport themselves on the campaign trail.

Finally, a word about children. In general, I agree that offspring generally shouldn't be subjected to the same media glare as their parents. In particular, juvenile offspring, I think, should be mostly off limits. But when you're talking about adult offspring, particularly those who have made political or business careers for themselves ... again, their business connections need to be examined as part of "vetting" a candidate. Particularly if those offspring thrust themselves into the campaign limelight.

--|PW|--

Is hyperbotox lee lee in an... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Is hyperbotox lee lee in another form?

PennyWit,Exactly. C... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

PennyWit,
Exactly. Chelsea Clinton, when her father ran for office, should have been off limits to 99% of commentary and punditry. When her mother was running and Chelsea took the stage to give speeches (and was also an adult with her own career), the gloves should have come off.

Of course you're absolutely... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Of course you're absolutely right. However, one would think that conservatives would approve of Chelsea Clinton. An example:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/1648442.stm

Takes some cajones, doing that at Oxford. Also, she's pretty cute.

Two negative votes for poin... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Two negative votes for pointing out that Chelsea Clinton is unabashedly patriotic and won't take shit from left-wing Europeans? Hilarious!

Two negative votes for the ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Two negative votes for the insinuation, "However, one would think..." - as if somehow "conservatives don't approve of Chelsea Clinton," with an example of something she did 7 years ago.

This implies too that because Nancy Pelosi visited the Dalai Lama and expressed her support, "one would think" conservatives would approve of her.

There's a major distinction between approving of a person as a whole and approving of one action by that person.

I don't take issue with Chelsea Clinton. Most people don't. So your random shot there didn't even come close to the mark. When you take subtle pot shots like that, it's no wonder you offend. "One would think" this wouldn't have to be pointed out to you. This kind of, sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle, snidery is so integral to many of your arguments and so intricately woven in, you don't even see them yourself.

Snidery--good word! I guess... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Snidery--good word! I guess SCSI saying that "the gloves should have come off" when Chelsea became a public figure was my impetus for the "One would think..." prefix. And there's absolutely no analogy whatsoever with Nancy Pelosi, who is an elected official and representative of the United States. Chelsea Clinton is neither of those things.

Cite something Chelsea has said or done that runs afoul of facts, Oyster.

Hyper, maybe you should ask... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Hyper, maybe you should ask SCSI to cite something. I just said I had no issue with Chelsea Clinton. My analogy was not related to family members delving into politics. It was to demonstrate the fallacy of your reasoning that someone should approve of someone else based on one action by that person.




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